[XviD-devel] License/legal discussions

charact3r charact3r at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 2 03:37:13 CET 2003

> My company has enhanced XviD and we'd like to work
> out a solution as to
> how we can distribute it. We'd prefer not to go the
> Sigma Designs way,
> that's why I'm asking.

The patent angle... 
(might kill your project even before you consider

1. Xvid uses MPEG-4 for which you must to pay a
nominal patent license fee.  Xvid almost certainly
also implements patents that aren't covered by MPEGLA.

2. GPL requires that if you pay to license a patent,
you must be prepared to pay to license that patent for
_ALL_ potential users of your redistributed code - I
doubt you are this rich ;-)

So either you infringe patents or you break GPL or you
do both.  There is no legal way to use xvid under GPL.

Don't you just hate patents!

The copyright angle...

(GPL paraphrased) You must distribute the source code
of your xvid enhancements to anyone who receives your
binary.  Easy.

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